This paper will outline the theoretical basis for a Complexity, Accuracy, Fluency triad as a communication paradigm and then present task-completion data that points to important elements for inclusion in the development of an instructional curriculum that can lead to informed CAF use by learners in a range of contexts. While the complexity, accuracy and fluency (CAF) construct has heretofore been applied in second language performance testing and factor interaction analysis, the present research takes the view that an instructional application of CAF can contribute to communicative competence in both a speaker’s first language as well as a second language. The research thus prioritizes development of an appropriate and effective CAF instructional curriculum that provides for CAF awareness, proceduralization and manipulation. Conceptualization of an instructional approach points to multiple and variously interacting domains of complexity, accuracy and fluency. Complexity refers to the semantic-functional properties of the language elements but also includes propositional complexity, the complexity of content as managed by the speaker. Accuracy refers to the extent to which a performance deviates from a prescriptive norm, but can also reflect varying expectations of comprehensibility, appropriateness and acceptability. Fluency is most often viewed in terms of global language proficiency; however, conceptual expansion suggests that ‘communicative fluency’ may imply slower and more enunciated speaking with repetition and rephrasing to ensure clarity of the utterance by the speaker and comprehension by the listener. This paper will introduce this conceptualization and then outline the instructional curriculum as it has been developed to date, while also reporting on semi-quantitative and qualitative research findings regarding assessments of the paradigm itself and student performance with the instructional approach. The research aims toward development of an instructional curriculum for cultivation of communicative competence in EFL, but with applicability to improved communication competence in first language use as well.
This study reports the preliminary findings of an exploratory study on the communication styles of Japanese female managers. It enumerates the results of semi-structured interviews with two male and four female employees in a foreign-affiliated company in the information technology sector in Tokyo. With regard to age, the respondents ranged from the 30s to the 60s, and served or had served the company as a manager or had work experience with female managers. The data were analyzed using a constructivist version of the grounded theory approach.
The following three findings are notable. First, female managers do not flexibly attune their verbal codes based on the gender of their communication partner, but rather on the formality of the situation, their colleagues’ personalities, and how close they are to a colleague. They tend to be more careful in particularly decoding the nonverbal messages of their subordinates rather than those of their superiors and are sensitive towards what their subordinates think about their task. In lieu of the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, female managers try to achieve high LMX by motivating their subordinates, welcoming their subordinates’ opinions, and collaborating well as a team to ensure they can achieve their professional goals and increase productivity.
Second, female managers might possibly have to put energy and time into achieving high LMX to guarantee a stable evaluation of their communication styles and performance. In case they cannot attune their communication styles to their subordinates’ respective personalities, or accomplish high LMX, they let their power and authority speak for them. This may lead to low LMX.
Third, the evaluation of communication styles of female managers depends on various factors, such as their colleagues’ attitudes toward work, their familiarity with female managers, and their prior experience of communicating with female managers.
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